The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday slapped notice to NDTV and its owner Prannoy Roy and wife Radhika Roy and the senior-most staffer Vikram Chandra for Foreign Exchange violation (FEMA Notice) of Rs.4369 crores. Roy and wife were caught for illegal Foreign Investment Proposal Board (FIPB) approval given by tainted former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who is also expected to be co-accused soon in this money round-tripping case. Interestingly, notices were served to Maxis subsidiary firm Astro also for round-tripping with NDTV.
As per the ED’s statement, FEMA violations happened in receipt of foreign investment granted by Chidambaram to the extent of Rs.1637 crores and another overseas investment to the tune of Rs.2732 crores.
“The investigation revealed that NDTV received a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of Rs.725 crores and that only CCEA (Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs) was competent to permit foreign direct investment in excess of Rs.600 crores, in the case of NDTV but no CCEA approval taken,” said ED in a statement. In the wake of ED’s case, CBI is expected to file another charge sheet against Chidambaram soon for violations in foreign investments. CBI and ED have already found that Chidambaram and son have the habit of taking bribes for approving foreign investments.
The money is routed through Chidambaram’s Aircel-Maxis scam co-accused Maxis’ subsidiary firms Astro and South Asia Creative Assets. The illegal money was pumped to Prannoy Roy’s shell firms NDTV Lifestyle and NDTV Imagine said sources.
ED has unearthed the frauds of Prannoy Roy with the help of RBI’s vigilance wing and it is learned that former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan tried to hush up these details to ED. It is learned that in coming days CBI is going to take tough action against the money laundering channel and its illegal deals with tainted Chidambaram.